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Denver Fun / Holidays

Where to see Santa in Denver

Santa in Denver

This time of year is chock-full of tree lightings and Santa arrival events – and KOSI has turned into the “Christmas Station.”  Nearly every shopping center has Santa scenes and photos – and each is just as festive as the next. You may want to try to go all over the city and see them all or just find one in your neighborhood. There are enough choices to do either! We have gathered some of the biggest and best celebrations around town.

Also, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Denver Holidays: Events, Lights and Family Fun

Outlets of Castle Rock. November 11 is the night to be at Outlets of Castle Rock. The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m. with Live performance by Radio Band, Jessie Wilson and Caleb Lee Hutchinson. The Grand Illumination lights up the 55 ft tree with over 8,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments! Plus, the Jolly Elf (Santa) will make his first appearance of the season. While you are there score some great deals on perfect gifts for everyone. The night will conclude with a fireworks show!

Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Santa’s Flight Academy is returning to Denver’s Premier Shopping destination – where you can visit Santa all season long. There will be special days for Santa Paws (for your 4-legged “children”) and Sensory Santa (for those with sensory issues). The Annual Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 on November 18. Hosted by Nuggets Announcer, Kyle Speller and features hot chocolate, sweet treats, musical performances, aerilists and more.

Cherry Creek North. The streets of Cherry Creek North invite you to celebrate their Winter Wanderland. As you wander the streets filled with Holiday fun. The Million Light Plug-In will take place on November 16 – and will also be broadcast on CBS Colorado. While you are at Cherry Creek North shop the Holiday Market (open weekends) full of local makers, designers, and creators. New this year, the Mistletoe Lounge – the pop-up holiday bar featuring a festive drink menu and comfy seating. Give to your favorite charity through the Giving Machines. A giving machine is a vending machine that doesn’t dispense bottled drinks or candy, but nourishes you in another way. Chanukah Celebration on Sunday, December 10 – The Chabad of Cherry Creek will be a full festival for the whole family with face painting, fire juggling, festive treats and crafts.  

Union Station. Union Station is the place to be this Christmastime. Be there for the Grand Illumination on November 24 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The annual lighting ceremony will see the 40-foot tall Christmas tree being lit. family-friendly entertainment, performances by Denver Dolls and the Dickens Carolers, face painting, balloon artis, caricature artis, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus! RTD will bring the Winter Parade Bus to the event. Inspired by holiday ugly sweater parties – you can see the one-of-a-kind bus (with lights!) before it rolls in the 9News Parade of Lights. And nightly starting November 25 between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m the historic façade will come alive through the interactive visual imagery projected onto the building.

Town Center of Aurora. The magic as Santa arrives on November 17 and will have a party 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  will be fun-filled with holiday cheer and family activities. Parade with Santa around the mall (the first 75 people to join the parade at 4 p.m. will get a special gift from Santa). Live entertainment, complimentary Hot Cocoa Bar, Kids Creative Corner, Complimentary Face Painting, photos with Santa and the Official Tree lighting. There will be a lot of fun on this special night.

FlatIron Crossing. Welcome Santa back on Saturday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m. with a FREE breakfast! In addition to the awesome breakfast, enjoy entertainment from Arvada West and Holy Family High School marching bands, Denver Dance Authoriy, Jackman Brothers and Broomfield School of Rock. Also have fun with activities like balloon twisting, face painting, coloring station, letters to Santa and crafts! There will be giveaways and more!

Orchard Town Center. Saturday, November 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. you can help welcome Santa and lighting the grand Orchard tree. The festivities will include tree lighting, live performances, carriage rides, free photos with Santa, visits with the reindeer, ornament painting, strolling characters, holiday vendors and more.

Parade of Lights. Perhaps nothing says Christmas as much to me as the Parade of Lights. The free parade travels through downtown Denver on December 2 beginning at 6 p.m. Each parade float is  lit extravagantly, see giant helium character balloons, listen to marching bands, see the equestrian units and cultural displays. Special appearances by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa!

Santa Express Train. Do your kids love Polar Express like mine do? This is the perfect way to get them a ride on the special train. The Royal Gorge Route train has worked with Santa to get special access to “North Pole”. The Santa Express Train has four tours daily. On board, you will hear your favorite Christmas tunes and see cheerful décor. Once Santa boards the train, he will greet every child and give them a very special gift. Your ticket also includes cocoa and cookies.


Author: Gretchen

Gretchen loves to be outdoors! She is addicted to coupons and finding the best deals or entering sweepstakes (one day she will win something really great!)

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Gretchen loves to be outdoors! She is addicted to coupons and finding the best deals or entering sweepstakes (one day she will win something really great!)

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